Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief
Hurricane Ian is the latest example of how our disaster relief program works from response to recovery, covering the full continuum of volunteerism – from response to recovery. We are still onsite helping the people of Pine Island who were severely impacted by the storm.
Additionally, the day after the hurricane hit, we organized and ran two S.A.F.E. Camps, putting volunteers in place for an organized distribution of services and in-kind donations to those who needed it most immediately after the storm. In the first 18 days:
- 18,000 cars were provided in-kind donations of critical supplies through our drive-up carlines
- $10 million+ in-kind donations distributed
- 80,000 hot meals served
- 1,590 volunteers recruited and given meaningful work
- 350 wellness checks and medical visits to our tent
- 30 homes mucked out and tarped
About four weeks after Hurricane Ian made landfall, we shifted operations to meet the community’s emerging needs. We were embedded in a small migrant community on Pine Island, a barrier island just off the coast near Cape Coral, Florida, which is where Hurricane Ian made landfall. The devastation there is immense – entire homes, businesses and agricultural lands were destroyed by this storm.
Community Caretaking in Progress
This is now a long-term operation, where we continue our mission with Community Caretaking. We are going into the community with teams of volunteers to muck out homes, tarp roofs, and remove trees and debris for those who can’t do it themselves. We have a fully functioning medical tent with volunteer rotating RNs, physicians, and social workers caring for people’s healthcare needs. (There is so much contamination in the soil and water that a tiny scratch can become fatal.) We will also continue to distribute supplies into the communities through volunteer efforts by going directly to the people.
These are people who have lost their livelihoods and transportation to work due to the storm. They are elderly people on fixed incomes who never expected to have to rebuild and can’t do it alone. They are families who didn’t have adequate safety nets such as savings and insurance to recover without community support. Without us, they would go without food and live in unsafe conditions, ultimately becoming the newly homeless in a region that is already overwhelmed with the challenges of recovery.
How You Can Help
Our goal is to stay long-term in these communities affected by Hurricane Ian and bring back a sense of stability to people’s lives. To do so, we need significant funding to continue our mission. We are truly bringing so much value in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, and our work isn’t finished. We don’t want to pull out when there is still so much to do to get this community back on its feet.